The 82nd Annual Academy Awards were broadcast on March 7, honoring the talent, labor and dedication in the field of cinematic art. With hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin presenting the awards, the crowds lit up with laughter and applause.
Actor Neil Patrick Harris’ opening stirred up quite a bit of controversy as he sung about famous Hollywood duos with suggestive lyrics.
Harris’s over-the-top jazzy number reached its epic pitch with a chorus line of dancers.
With the song closing, both hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were lowered down via a platform from the ceiling, making their entrance quite dramatic.
Martin and Baldwin graciously ribbed actors like George Clooney, Christopher Waltz, James Cameron, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, to name a few.
The duo even went as far as to poke fun at the directorial feud between James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow.
Martin and Baldwin were then submerged in the presence of the CGI-created floating wood sprits from the film “Avatar.” Martin quickly used a can of aerosol to humorously kill off the creatures.
For Best Animated Film, actors Cameron Diaz and Steve Carell introduced the category with a unique twist.
Each of the five leading animated characters were interviewed by Barbara Walters. Among them were Mr. Fox, Coraline, Prince Naveen (in frog form), Louis the alligator and Carl Fredricksen with Dug. Disney/Pixar’s “Up” took home two awards for Best Animated Film and Best Original Score.
A tribute to late director John Hughes, presented by actor Matthew Broderick and actress Molly Ringwald, brought a touching reminder of how his films have touched the lives of so many.
In a surprising turn of events, former actors and actresses from the famed director’s past films enterted from behind a large poster of John Hughes himself.
Some of the actors who contributed to the tribute included John Cryer, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Macaulay Culkin.
Each one talked about how Mr. Hughes affected their lives, showing how much of an influence he had on their acting careers.
One of the most unique stunts of the night came from actor Ben Stiller, during his entrance to present the award for Best Make Up.
Instead of Stiller in typical red carpet garb, he transformed himself into a blue skinned, long tailed and braided-haired Na’vi from James Cameron’s “Avatar” to present.
In the speech of the Na’vi, Ben Stiller translated the language to “this seemed like a better idea in rehearsal.”
Stiller, with a serious stare at James Cameron, gazed at him and said “I see you, I want to plug my tail, my braid into your dragon, and my tail.”
A tribute to the horror film genre was presented by actors Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner from the film “New Moon.” This tribute showcased such horror classics as “Jaws,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Child’s Play,” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”
A show of fancy footwork by the dance crew Legion of Extraordinary Dancers filled the stage set to the tunes of the nominated songs for best Original Score.
Honoring those who have passed on, singer-songwriter James Taylor played guitar to Beatles song “There are Places I Remember,” as footage played.
Among those honored were David Carradine, Dom DeLuise, Brittany Murphy, Roy E. Disney, David Brown and Karl Malden.
One major change to the Oscars this year was the numbers of nominees for Best Picture. swelling to ten instead of five. Because of this, each movie was showcased by a different actor throughout the show.
Best Supporting Actress went to Mo’Nique in the film “Precious,” who delivered a tearful speech thanking her family, the cast of “Precious,” and her husband Sidney Hicks.
Best Actress went to Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side,” and Best Actor went to Jeff Bridges in the film “Crazy Heart.” Best Director went to Kathryn Bigelow and her film, “The Hurt Locker,” which also won Best Picture.
Patrick Viesti is a fourth year student at West Chester University, majoring in communications studies. He can be reached at PV682167@wcupa.edu.